1. This past week, I attended the 2-day Social Media World Forum Europe conference. It was absolutely impossible to attend every relevant and interesting session across the two days. Try as I might, I missed some of the highlights from the conference but captured some great sound bites on influence and measurement from the Social Media Marketing track on Day 1 and the Social Business track on Day 2. Tweeting from my own account (@jacqui_flemimg) and @TweetLevel, here are my “notes” from Olympia from Day 1.
  2. Chris Brogan, of Human Business Works, kicked-off Day 1 and I must admit I was a little gutted I missed this as it turns out he is regarded as a social media rock star who says stuff like this:
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    ‘We don’t make trends, they just happen’ @chrisbrogan #smwf
  4. The first session I attended was a panel discussion on the evolution of conversation. The panel lacked a solid narrative, but I was impressed with Benjamin Ellis (blogger/author), Delphine Remy-Boutang (WW Social Media Director, IBM Software Group) and Kerry Bridge (Social Media Manager, Global MB , Dell) and their insights on conversation and social media strategy. 
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    Listening to @DelphineRB and @KerryatDell on ‘the evolution of the conversation’ panel at #smwf currently on the role of internal training
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    .@DelphineRB: A tweet only last 8 seconds. We have to convert that conversation into a transaction’ for sticky marketing.
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    An old saying, but still very true: “Think global but act locally.” @DelphineRB on global strategies, and use best practice #smwf
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    Social media is becoming “less about platforms, more about how companies adapt internally” and organisesays, @benjaminellis #smwf
  10. Benjamin brought up a very good point here — social media isn’t just about platforms and “engagement” but rather how a business adapts to the era of the social customer. This supports the idea that most brands are looking at social media and influence backwards, replying on scores and fan numbers rather than business goals and objectives. More on that later.
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    Qu. to the panel, will visual content change anything? Simplicity, agility, stay true to tone of voice, curation… #smwf
  12. The raging popularity of visual content is really no different when it comes to strategies for bringing relevant content to communities. This point was emphasised by Delphine who felt that it was most important for brands to say true to their established tone of voice through visual elements. 

    Instagram, Pintrest… What does the panel think will be the killer technology for 2012 for social media marketing? A lacklustre question, but it yielded perhaps the best quote and tip of the two days:
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    “Who has studied storytelling…?! The killer tech for 2012 is storytelling” @benjaminellis #smwf Find the story >> best tip yet today
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  15. Second panel of the day now on Social media engagement measurement and metrics with Allister Frost (Head of Digital Marketing Strategy, Microsoft), Reggie Bradford (CEO, Vitrue), Jonathan Bean (COO, Mynewsdesk) and Patrick Salyer (CEO, Gigya); there were just a few too many vendors on this panel for my taste. The panel skirted around the role of business objectives in social media measurement, perhaps due to the fact that the vendors wanted to talk about real-time analytics and data science? 
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    Social media engagement measurement and metrics panel now at #smwf; what are the killer metrics? KPI – how about business objectives?
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    CMO dashboard is becoming more important for the industry… Err, not just CMO function, #socialbiz is everyone’s responsibility, no? #smwf
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    “What do you do with that data and how do you execute against that?” very relevant point at #smwf by measurement panel
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    Human beings want to engage with other human beings… real engagement is about listening & responding no matter the channel. #smwf
  20. Fair enough, but how do you measure “real engagement” and what do you measure? How do you engage with “hyper social customers” and translate this into sales/ ROI? 
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    “Not sure I buy into hyper social customers” driving sharing says @AllisterF, it’s about the useful value exchange, if not we reject #smwf
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    Measurement and metrics #smwf panel talking about SEO, search, ROI and optimised websites. Still no mention of business objective metrics.
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    ‘Behavioural modelling with real rigger and science is the future’ of social media ROI, says @AllisterF #smwf
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    Is engagement is the thing we should be measuring? Should we be looking at biz objectives to drive metrics? Great ?@vikkichowney #smwf
  25. Finally, eConsultancy’s Vikki Chowney asked the killer question! Business objectives are as unique as your business and should drive metrics and KPIs, said Allister, however we still need to look at engagement metrics, though he agreed we need to move beyond this. Some wise advice:
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    From @AllisterF “As unique as your business. We should be measuring engagement metrics… but we need to move beyond this.” #smwf
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    .@AllisterF urges us to ‘step away from the screens and use this data in a way that will make our business stronger.’ #smwf #smmeasure
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    . @allisterf says DO measure engagement, it’s easy, but real value is when you get business people to apply econometric data modelling #smwf
  29. Given that we are in an age where every company is a media company, I find it interesting that #SMWF Europe invited a publishing company to present a case study on measurement, but I can’t fault Cathy’s presentation. She was perhaps one of the best speakers of the two days. 
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    Next up in the engagement and measurement session, a case study from @cathyma from IPC Media #smwf
  31. Here is a link to Cathy’s slides:
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    @cathyma #SMWF Social strategy and measuring success presentation slides dl.dropbox.com/u/67488/IPC…
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    The holy grail of social media success… how does your business make money? Business objectives, user needs, tech drives everything. #smwf
  34. Yes! Now we are getting somewhere. Start at the beginning – what do you want to achieve?
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    Three core metrics from @CathyMa, acquisition, retention and monetisation. Very basic, but core before you begin the tracking journey #smwf
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    #SMWF love it, keep in mind: ” Not everything that can be counted counts, & not everything that counts can be counted” Einstein #socialmedia
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    IPC connect social brand experiences with their print publications (product). #smwf
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    Final points from @CathyMa, IPC; getting the right people is a starting point. Tools like #TweetLevel help w/ metrics 😉 #smwf
  39. This is a VERY important point from Cathy and a cheeky plug from me. Altimeter’s recent report on The Rise of Digital Influence dives into this further. I strongly recommend ; -) 
  40. After a networking break (read: quick snooze in one of the event’s FatBoy beanbag chairs) Twitter’s 
    Bruce Daisley (UK Sales Director) took to the stage for the afternoon keynote. I believe it’s fair to say that we were all expecting something a little different from the keynote. 
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    #SMWF Afternoon keynote now from @brucedaisley, UK sales director at Twitter.
  42. The view from the back of the room…
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    “When we talk about Twitter at Twitter, we talk about it as an information network, not a social network.” @brucedaisley #smwf
  45. (This comment sparked an uproar on Twitter.)
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    2/5 of people on Twitter don’t tweet. @brucedaisley #smwf
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    .@brucedaisley Hashtags are the new URL, the glue holding the community and information together. #smwf
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    People are interested in some sort of reciprocation online. @brucedaisley #smwf If you can’t give something free, offer something of value.
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    Twitter’s @brucedaisley showing paid for and earned media via Twitter and ROI. Twitter is just one channel, not used in isolation?! #smwf
  51. I mentioned earlier that the audience seemed to expect something a little different from Bruce Daisley. Speaking with those sitting around me (and on Twitter) there was a palatable sense his keynote was bit too “salesy” and that he was preaching to the choir. 
  52. The final session in ‘Engagement and Measurement’ included Lee Griffin (Commercial Director, TBG Digital), Dr Simone Kurtzke (Social Media Manager, Visitscotland), Henry Juszkiewicz (Chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitar Corporation) and Azeem Azhar (CEO, Peer Index) talking about monitoring and measurement. It would be impossible to sum up this panel discussion… it was very odd. The two practitioners, Henry and Simone, appeared to agree that it is impossible to pay attention to all social media data, but you do the best you can. Lee and Azeem meanwhile had their own agenda. 
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    Monitoring and measurement panel now discussing the value of data and insights to inform strategy and spend #smwf
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    “Not all data is equal, you can ignore some stuff… It’s important to evaluate qualitative data” and insight. @socialscotland #smwf
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    Gibson Guitar’s @heneryej explains that data is bad and confusing, screen out data and get to the meat of things, that one idea! #smwf
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    #smwf @henryej “social media for Gibson is about long term engagement, so we monitor that, not more”
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    Crunching data in a sensible way is about looking for the signal in the noise says Lee Griffin, TBG Digital (via the data geek) #smwf
  58. So I think we’ll leave it there for day 1. To be continued… (on day 2, that is).